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Should You Put A Skills Section On Resume

Research Common Skills In Your Industry

Writing Your Resume Skills Section: Do’s and Don’ts

This is vital for people who are trying to switch into a new career or people who havenât looked for a new job in a few years. Consult recent job descriptions on top job search sites like Indeed and LinkedIn and use them to add to your resume skills list.

Check out lists of in-demand skills. These lists are a good reference to see what is popular for the year

Remember not to add different types of skills just because theyâre trendy: only include skills you actually have on your resume. These lists can help jog your memory, though, or help you determine what skills to emphasize. For example, in 2020, emotional intelligence is one of the top soft skills.

You can also reference resume examples that include education, work experience, and skills for your job title.

Guide To Resume Sections Categories Titles And Headings

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If youre wondering what sections to include on a resume, youre in the right place

Were going to go step-by-step through the most important resume sections/categories, as well as recommended titles and headings to use.

Well also look at how to write each section, plus some proven resume writing tips and a few optional sections that you can use to get even more interviews so keep reading until the end.;

Lets get started

Resume Skills Section Example #:

If you take one idea away from these sample skill sections of a resume, it should be that the section is meant to be simple and clutter-free, and should only feature your top relevant skills for the jobs youre pursuing now.

Its not a place to list every single skill youve ever used, and it shouldnt have as much content as other, more important, sections like your resume work experience.

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How Many Skills Should I Put On My Resume

You should include anywhere between 3-10 skills, with a healthy mix of hard and soft skills, in the skills section of your resume. For a chronological resume, aim for the higher end of that range and for a functional resume aim for the lower end.

A functional resume is skills-focused, so you should go more in-depth for each skill and write about how youve leveraged that skill for professional success.

If you feel that you have more than 10 skills that align with the job description, use your strongest skills or the skills you feel are most relevant for the job. Its up to you whether you separate your hard and soft skills.

Additionally, consider putting a proficiency level beside each skill you list. You dont have to do this, but it can be helpful if you want to emphasize your strongest skills and not mislead a recruiter about skills you only have a basic grasp of.

Why It’s Important To Include A Skills Section On Your Resume:

Cv What To Write In Skills Section

Skills are the natural talents you have as well as the expertise you have developed that will help you to do a job or perform a task. With the right skill set on your resume, you can put yourself ahead of the candidate pool and grab the attention of the employer.

There is an endless list of skills that you can put on your resume and knowing which ones to list will reinforce your ability to get the job you are applying for.

Possibly the most important reason to list a skills section on your resume is the fact that most companies these days use applicant tracking software. This software goes through the thousands of resumes a company can receive and looks for keywords relevant to the job. If a company does not use an ATS, there is still a good chance that the hiring manager will simply skim through the skills section to look for the right skill set.

Leveraging your top skills through your skills section will help you to attract more job interviews. There are two main types of job skills that hiring managers look for, hard skills and soft skills. Listing both types will show that you are a well-rounded, balanced candidate.

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Transferable Skills Vs Job

Transferable skills can be carried with you from one job to the other. These skills can be a hard skill or soft skill, as long as they can be used in any type of role, regardless of the industry, company, or position.

Examples of transferable skills:

  • Work Experience section
  • If you are writing a resume from scratch, try using this free and easy-to-use resume builder from The sections and formatting are already created for you, so all you need to worry about is filling in the blanks to finish a free printable resume.

    Whats A Resume Objective & When To Use It

    A resume objective is, in a nutshell, the goal of your resume. It communicates your motivation for getting into a new field. As with a resume summary, a resume objective should be around 2-3 sentences.;

    As weve mentioned before, a resume objective is the go-to for anyone that either has no work experience or is going through a career change.

    Formula to Create Your Resume Objective:

    Looking to apply my at

    to help .;

    Examples of Resume Objectives

    1) So, heres how that would look like if youre a student:

    • Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.

    2) Or, on the other hand, if youre going through a career change:

    • IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.

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    Take The Time To Decode The Job Ad

    How can you tell what the employer wants in a perfect applicant for the job? You can pick up a lot from the job posting, and it would help to also invest some time researching the job and the company to learn more details.

    Heres what to look for when youre reviewing the job ad, including how to evaluate the job title, qualifications, requirements, responsibilities, and required experience.

    Soft Skills In A Skills Section


    If youre going to have a skills section on your resume, it should be focused on hard skills and competenciesnot soft skills, says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, executive resume writer and owner of Dallas-based coaching firm Career Trend. Soft skills are important, but I would weave them into the work experience portion, Barrett-Poindexter says. So where can you really lean in to your soft skills? Your cover letter.

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    Should My Resume Have A Skills Section

    When it comes time to build a resume, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself. What font will I use? Will I list my experience by chronology or relevance? And of course, should I have a separate skills section? The answer is yes! However, if youd like a more thorough answer than that, keep on reading to find out why it will help you.;

    Use Similar Terms And Address Every Required Qualification

    Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience theyre seeking.

    For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with MS Project you need to use the words MS Project in your resume.

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    Should You Include A Soft Skills Resume Section

    Bethany Wallace offers soft skills solutions for your hardest challenges. Owner of a career coaching business, she partners with mission-minded organizations, employers, and educational institutions to provide soft skills solutions, including tailored training, executive coaching, professional development, in-service workshops, and keynote presentations. Bethany has worked for 12 years in higher education as an English faculty member, career services director, and advisor. She previously served as Content Manager for College Recruiter, a technical writer for HP, and has garnered management experience in the non-profit sector as well. In addition to managing her business, Bethany conducts research with business partners, volunteers in the community, and mentors other women.

    Connect with Bethany on , , and .

    Before focusing my business solely on soft skills solutions for companies and organizations, I offered resume writing services and worked with hundreds of individual job seekers. I created a soft skills resume section for my clients who received excellent feedback from employers and began landing interviews and job offers.

    Of course, I recommend revising your entire resumenot just this sectionbut I strongly believe a tailored soft skills resume section will set you apart in your job search and improve your odds of landing interviews.

    How To Get Past The Ats: Customize Your Resume Skills For Each Job

    Resume Skills Section: 250+ Skills for Your Resume ...

    The best skills to include on a resume are the required skills that are present in the job description.

    For example, if youre applying for a job in Customer Support, the job description might include skills like IT, Stripe, Zendesk, troubleshooting, etc. These hard skills and software then become the top skills for your resume.

    I know what youre thinking, and yes, that means each job you apply for requires its own unique set of resume skills. You should update your resume for every job you apply to after reviewing the job description. A one-size-fits-all resume does not work in the world of online job applications and ATS.

    Want to see if youve included the most important resume skills for the job youre applying to? Scan your resume and the job description side-by-side in Jobscan.

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    List Your Skills In A Separate Skills Section

    If you want to support your professional experience with skills that are required by or relevant to the employer, you could include a separate skills section that highlights keywords from the job description. If you have extensive professional experience, your job history section should be highlighted as the first thing employers see. You can list additional skills in a separate section at or near the bottom of your resume.

    Here is an example skills section for a payroll specialist:

    *Relevant skills: Mastery of Quicken and Quickbooks, employee benefits administration, new hire onboarding, multistate payroll, employee relations.*

    Figure Out The Skills Needed For The Job

    When applying for jobs, it is important to identify the set of skills that are needed. Picking out the needed skills will help you determine if you are a good fit for the role. It will also help you tailor your resume skills to the specific job you are applying for.

    There are two main ways to determine the skills needed for a job.

    The first is to dissect job descriptions and job postings that are posted on career websites and job boards. To do this, go through a job description and highlight each quality that describes the candidate the company is looking for.

    For example, here is a job posting for a cashier position:;

    Then create a list of all the qualities described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job posting.

    Problem Solving
    Initiative Ownership

    The second way to figure out what skills are needed for a job is to search for people on LinkedIn who are already performing the role.

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    How To Determine Which Soft Skills To Feature On Your Resume

    Which 3-5 skills would you consider your best assets? It may be difficult to identify your strongest soft skills on your own when writing your resume. Get some help. Work with a career coach, your career services staff , or check out a great list of soft skills online to get your brain churning. Talk to people whove worked with you in the past or former classmates. Ask them to help you identify which soft skills youve demonstrated repeatedly while working on projects.

    Identify a job youre interested in applying for. Did you know that most job postings can be broken down into three main components: company/organization description, job functions, and job requirements? Check out the job posting. Look for mention of soft skills throughout the job posting. In most cases, you will find these skills mentioned in either job requirements or job functions. Employers are desperately seeking candidates who already possess essential soft skills. It makes more sense to hire someone who does not require six months of training in communication skills than to hire someone who does.

    Now you get to play match-up. Compare your top 3-5 soft skills with the skills preferences or requirements in the job posting. Hopefully the employer is looking for the same skills you feel are your greatest assets.

    Jobscan can help automate this process by identifying soft skills in the job description and comparing it to whats already on your resume.

    Try it yourself here:

    Refine Your List Of Skills

    Resume Tips: Skills Section

    But theres more to it.

    When your resume is filled with skills and qualities sought after by the employer, and your key skills section has 20+ items

    Its time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Theres one problem, though.

    The task may seem impossible when every skill feels relevant.

    Heres what to do.

    Assess how good you are at each of your skills and talents. A simple scale from 1 to 5, or from beginner to advanced should do.

    It takes value from it.

    So if you feel like some of your technical skills or computer skills are basic, keep them to yourself.

    Let your resume highlight your best professional side.

    Expert Hint:Do cover letters matter? Weve asked over 200 recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals, and they told us that 83% of the time a great cover letter can help you get the interview even if your resume isnt good enough.

    Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

    Want to try a different look? Theres 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

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    Should I Label It Hobbies And Interests

    Here is where you may want to change it up. When you think of hobbies, you think of crafts, fishing, sports, music, etc. You may want to change the label of this section to be more professional.

    You can label this section of your resume:

    • âActivities and Interestsâ

    You can change the labeling a bit depending on what youâre putting in.

    Answer The Job Description

    Use the job description to figure out what the employer wants to see in terms of skills on resume submissions. Look for phrases such as ârequired skills,â âtechnical requirement,â and âmust have experience withâ¦â The words that follow are usually necessary qualifications and keywords.

    Make sure all required skills appear on your resume at least once. Use the exact word or phrase as the job description. Mention your top skills multiple times, such as in a professional summary, skills section, and while describing your work experience.

    Reminder: use a combination of soft skills and hard skills for a resume.

    Letâs break down the list above to detail exactly how to incorporate the right resume skills. Here is an example of some good skills a Director of Finance might want to put on a resume:

    Your first step to identifying the right skills to put on your resume will follow the same process. Use the list of vital skills to identify your own talents that are valuable to employers.

    We have more information about how to use them, and more examples of each skill further down on the page. First, though, we need to quickly go over why skills are the most valuable words on your resume.

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    How To List Soft Skills

    Show, dont tell. The best place to demonstrate your soft skills is in your accomplishments. When writing your work experience bullet points, consider the soft skills you want to emphasize and choose accomplishments that effectively illustrate them. Start with an action verb that highlights the soft skill in question, and use numbers and metrics to substantiate it. ;For example:

    • Instead of saying youre a team player, talk about the size of the teams youve worked with, what your specific role was, and what the team achieved.
    • Dont just say you have excellent communication skills instead, mention a conference youve spoken at, an article youve published, or the percentage of new customers youve gained through cold calling.
    • Want to show initiative? Include a process you streamlined or automated, or a new approach you spearheaded.

    In other words, hiring managers dont want to read opinions they want facts that will allow them to make up their own minds.

    Add A Highlights Section

    How to List Skills on a Resume Skills Section [3 Easy Steps]

    Modern resumes are built to be value-oriented, which requires providing information that is more achievement-based as opposed to task-based. If youve had multiple roles with varying achievements, select the top four you are most proud of and incorporate them into a Career Highlights section.

    Try to avoid adding more than four as this section is meant to be the highlights of your achievements, and you dont want to create sections with long lists of bullets, creating a very boring way to read content.

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